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EXPERIMENTS ON LIVING ANIMALS.
FROM THE WORKS OF
LECONS DE PHYSIOLOGIE OPERATOIRE (OPERATIVE PHYSIOLOGY).
By Claude Bernard.
LECONS SUR LA CHALEUR ANIMALE. By Claude Bernard.
LA PRESSION BAROMETRIQUE. By Paul Bert, Paris, 1878.
AS REPRODUCED IN
"BERNARD'S MARTYRS" and "LIGHT IN DARK PLACES."
By MISS FRANCES POWER COBBE.
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE RESTRICTION OF VIVISECTION,
No. 1706 Chestnut Street.
EXPERIMENTS ON LIVING ANIMALS,
FROM THE WORKS OF
LECONS DE PHYSIOLOGIE OPERATOIRE (OPERATIVE PHYSIOLOGY).
By Claude Bernard.
LECONS SUR LA CHALEUR ANIMALE. By Claude Bernard.
LA PRESSION BAROMETRIQUE. By Paul Bert, Paris, 1878.
AS REPRODUCED IN
"BERNARD'S MARTYRS " and " LIGHT IN DARK PLACES."
By MISS FRANCES POWER COBBE.
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE RESTRICTION OF VIVISECTION,
No. 1706 Chestnut Street.
DO NOT REFUSE TO LOOK AT THESE PICTURES.
IF YOU CANNOT BEAR TO LOOK AT THEM, WHAT MUST THE
SUFFERING BE TO THE ANIMALS WHO UNDERGO
THE CRUELTIES THEY REPRESENT?
" These animals are entirely at our mercy. They are dumb and power-
less to resist. There is no kind of brutality that we cannot, at our
pleasure, inflict upon them." Then, how base is it to take advantage of
their unprotected condition, and torture them in such a manner. Is not
the idea repulsive to every generous mind ?
"Better I or my friend should die," says Professor Henry J. Bigelow,
" than protract existence through accumulated years of torture upon
animals whose exquisite suffering we cannot fail to infer, even though
they may have neither voice nor feature to express it."
A COMMENT ON CLAUDE BERNARDS PHYSIOLOGIE OPERATOIRE.
" This book will, it is hoped, convey to all its readers the fact which the
opponents of vivisection have long been laboring to convey, namely :
that the practice, as it now exists, is very seldom the occasional re-
source of the practical surgeon, or even of the puzzled physiologist (like
Sir Charles Bell), who desires to solve once in a way some knotty and
important problem by a most carefully prepared experiment never to
be needlessly repeated. It is, on the contrary, ^profession — a regular
and independent business — to which men devote themselves with ardor
and ambition, and pursue in as orderly a manner, week after week and
year after year, as any other trade, till many of them might boast that
they have slaughtered more animals than the most experienced butcher
jn the shambles. Modern vivisection may be defined, in short, to be the
limitless invention, performance and repetition, by scores of inquirers,
of every kind and sort of operation on every portion of the living frames
of animals, and pre-eminently of the most sensitive animals. Brains,
nerves, eyes, hearts, veins, intestines, bones, limbs and skin — nothing
escapes, and no part fails to afford a practically boundless field for the
ingenuity of the physiologist ; or if the imagination of one ever flags,
it is soon stimulated into double activity to disprove the boasted dis-
coveries of another."
" We stand, in truth, face to face with a new vice — new, at least, in its
vast modern development, and the passion wherewith it is pursued — the
Vice of Scientific Cruelty. It is not the old vice of cruelty for cruelty" 1 's
sake; of that even the worst physiologist may probably be acquitted.
It is, in strict ethical definition, the fault of indifference to a great moral
consideration (namely, that of the sufferings caused by our actions) raised
to the rank of a vice by the enormous extent to which it is carried.
The Yivisector ought to be stopped in pursuing his (otherwise) lawful
end of advancing physiological science, by the consideration that his
means of advancing it involve a moral offence, (theologically viewed
the sin) of causing torture worse than death to guiltless creatures.
This consideration, as has been said, ought to stop him, just as any other
man ought to be stopped in pursuing any legitimate end (e. g., the ad-
vancement of the interests of his country or family), if he find he can-
not carry it out without employing immoral means, deceit, robbery,
persecution, treachery or any other unrighteous mode of action."
Frances Power Cobbe.
" That the dominion of man over the lower world is a moral trust, is a
proposition which no man living can deny." — Lord Erskine.
Fioni La Prtttion Baromelrique, by Paul Bert.
"I cannot refrain from expressing my horror at the amount of torture
Dr. Brachet inflicted. I hardly think ktiowledge is worth having at such
a purchase." — John Elliotson, m.d., f.tc.s.
From Cyon's Atlas.
This illustration represents the head of a rabbit, of which the top
of the skull is removed to show the position of the nerves, and the
instrument is exhibited piercing the head and reaching the nerve (the
trigeminus) on which it is desired to operate. The description given
by Cyon of the method of operation (Methodik, p. 510) is as follows :
" The rabbit is firmly fastened to the ordinary vivisecting table by
means of Czermak's holder. Then the rabbit's head is held by the
left hand, so that the thumb of that hand rests on the condyle of the
lower jaw. This is used as a point cPappui for the insertion of the
knife. . . To reach the hollow of the temple the instrument must be
guided forward and upward, thus avoiding the hard portion of the tem-
poral bone, and leading the knife directly into the cranial cavity. . .
The trigeminus then comes under the knife. Now holding the head of
the animal very firmly, the blade of the knife is directed backwards
and downwards and pressed hard in this direction against the base of the
skull. The nerve is then generally cut behind the Gasserian ganglion,
which is announced by a violent cry of agony (einen heftigen Schmer-
zensschrei) of the animal."
Cyon. Table XXII.
Ludwig's machine for measuring the rate of the blood-current in arteries of rabbits.
"For my own part, I cannot believe that Providence should intend
that the secrets of nature are to be discovered by means of cruelty, and
I am sure that those who are guilty of protracted cruelties do not
possess minds capable of appreciating the laws of nature. Experiments
have never been the means of discovery, and a survey of what has
been attempted of late years in physiology will prove that the opening
of living animals has done more to perpetuate error than to confirm the
just views taken from the study of anatomy and the natural motions." —
Sir Charles Bell, f.r.c.s.
Cyon. Table VII.
The above illustration represents an instrument very frequently men-
tioned in these works: Czermak's Rabbit-holder, with the rabbit's head
fixed in it, and the nerves of the neck dissected out. This illustration,
as well as several subsequent ones, is taken from M. de Cyon's splendid
volume, the Methodik der physiologischen experimente und vivisectionen,
with Atlas (Giessen, St. Petersburg, 1876).
" How few facts of immediate considerable value to our race have of
late years been extorted from the dreadful sufferings of dumb animals,
the cold-blooded cruelties now more and more practised under the
authority of Science !
" The reaction which follows every excess will in time bear indignantly
upon this. Until then, it is dreadful to think how many poor animals
will be subjected to excruciating agony, as one medical college after
another becomes penetrated with the idea that vivisection is a part of
modern teaching, and that, to hold way with other institutions, they,
too, must have their vivisector, their mutilated dogs, their Guinea-pigs,
their rabbits, their chamber of torture and of horrors to advertise as a
laboratory." — Henry J. Bigelow, m.d., Professor of Surgery in Har-
From Bernard's Physioloyie Operaloire, p. 137.
Lawson Tait, one of the most eminent living surgeons, says in an ad-
dress : " In 1872 or 1873 I was the witness of an experiment which
thrilled me with horror, which I have never related in detail, and con-
cerning the sight of which I shall preserve silence. I am, however,
bound to say that I left the room with the feeling that if such things were
to be done in the pursuit of science, I should like to part company with
" M. de Cyon in his article in the Contemporary Review, April, 1883,
mentions this drawing (which was one of those exhibited life-size on the
hoardings of London in 1877), and asserts that it was drawn from the
dead body of the animal. It may be possible that the actual dog from
which M. cle Cyon made his sketch was at that moment no longer living,
but that the hideous mutilations exhibited in the drawing had been in-
flicted while he was still living is proved by two circumstances : one by
the presence of the elaborate muzzle, which assuredly no one would
have placed on the corpse of a dog, and secondly, by the presence of
the cannula fixed into the duct of the salivary gland, — a gland which, of
course, like any other, ceases lo secrete at death, and into which, there-
fore, it is absurd to suppose a cannula would have been inserted after
death. M. de Cyon's assertion that the dog represented is a dead one is
also thoroughly disposed of by an extract from his own book quoted in
an excellent letter by Mr. Ernest Bell, published in the Spectator, April
7th, 1SS3. Speaking of the plates in M. Cyon's work—
"When he tells us that these plates are, ' of course, drawn from the
dead body of the animals,' he probably is speaking the literal truth as
regards the plates, but in as far as he wishes us to infer that the opera-
tions they represent were done on the dead body, he is saying what his
books show to be untrue. For, concerning one of the plates (No. xv),
I find on p. li!>l of the work the following paragraph: —
" ' If the experiment is made only for demonstration, one can drug the
animal beforehand with chloral, chloroform, or curari; and if the last-
named poison is applied, artificial respiration must be used. If, on the
other hand, one wishes to use the experiment for purposes of observa-
tion, particularly if the investigation concerns the influence of the circu-
lation on the activity of the glands, it is better to avoid these drugs, on
account of their influence on the circulation. One should choose for the
experiment strong, lively animals, which have been well-fed for a few
days previously.' "
" It is said that the use of anaesthetics is the means of preventing these
kinds of operations (experiments on the brains of monkeys, by David
Ferrier) from causing pain. Although in the first instance an animal
may be under the influence of anaesthetics, you cannot keep up a pro-
tracted comatose condition for days, or weeks, or months, and therefore
it is perfectly idle to suggest that the horror of tbe operations is at all
diminished." — Speech of the Hon. R. T. Reid, in the House of
Commons, April, 1883.
" Vivisection has proved useless and misleading, and, in the interests of
true science, its employment should be stopped, so that the energy and
skill of scientific investigators should be directed into better and safer
channels. I hail with satisfaction the rousing which is evident in the
public mind upon this question, and I feel confident that before long
the alteration of opinion, which I have had to confess in my own case,
will spread widely amongst the members of my useful profession." —
Lawson Tait, f.r.c.s.
We now come to an illustration which will be recognized by many
readers — the first of the two stoves invented and used by Claude
Bernard. It is taken from his Legons sur la Chaleur Animate, Paris,
1870, p. 347, and represents, as Bernard states, his "first apparatus
for the study of the Mechanism of Death by Heat." Of the results of
experiments made with it he prints several tables. These tables show
how dogs, pigeons and rabbits baked in the stove, expired at the tem-
peratures of 90° or 100° Cent, in G minutes, 10 minutes, 2-t minutes, etc.,
and at higher temperatures at different intervals ; and again how, when,
the apparatus formed a hot bath (i.e., the animal was boiled iustead of
baked alive), a different scale of heat and subsequent death was observed.
A small dog placed in a temperature of 55* expired at 8 minutes, and
so on. Again, another series of results were obtained when the head of
the victim was kept outside the stove, while its body was baked or
boiled. "The animals" (Bernard notes, page 3-"><i) "exhibit a series
of symptoms always the same and characteristic. At first the creature
is a little agitated. Soon the respiration and circulation are quickened.
The animal opens its mouth and breathes hard. Soon it becomes im-
possible to count its pantings ; at last it falls into convulsions, and dies
generally in uttering a cry."
"In a subsequent table Bernard gives the particulars of the deaths
in this apparatus of seventeen dogs and of numerous rabbits and
pigeons ; and then proceeds in the next lecture to show his audience the
diagram of another and more elaborate stove, in which many other
series of animals were sacrificed."
"Under the heading of 'Dogs,' Claude Bernard tells us that 'By
reason of their docility dogs generally allow themselves to be caught with-
out resistance. But when they are dogs which have strayed and been
brought to the laboratory, they are either intimidated, as in the case of
sheep-dogs and similar species, or they are enraged, defiant, and stand-
ing on the defensive, if they belong to the bulldog kind. With such
animals certain precautions are necessary to secure them.'
" But if the animal by reason of his strength and fury cannot be se-
cured, there is still one extreme method which always succeeds. We
have only to throw a running knot over the dog's neck, either directly or
by the aid of a long pole, and then draw it tight either round the leg of
a table or by hanging it over a door until it be half strangled.
" In this way the half-asphyxiated animal falls into a state of helpless-
ness and complete insensibility, and we must then muzzle him rapidly
and tie his forepaws, with which he will try to get the muzzle off again.
The running knot is then loosened and the muzzled and garroted animal
recovers in a few minutes " (page 10S).
Under the head of " Cats " we are told that " Cats are more terrible
than dogs, inasmuch as they are armed with teeth and claws, while their
suppleness and agility make it more difficult to secure them. It is, more-
over, almost impossible to master an enraged cat, which springs like a
tiger and tears everything he can get his claws upon."
" Muzzling a cat is by no means a simple operation, and for that rea-
son Walter used to sew the lips together instead."
" The position of vivisection as a method of scientific research stands
alone amongst the infinite variety of roads for the discovery of Nature's
secrets, as being open to strong prima facie objection.
" No one can urge the slightest ground of objection against the astrono-
mer, the chemist, the electrician or the geologist in their ways of work-
ing ; and the great commendation of all other workers is the comparative
certainty of their results. But for the physiologist working upon a
living animal there are the two strong objections : that he is violating a
strong and widespread public sentiment, and that he tabulates results of
the most uncertain. and often quite contradictory, kind." — Lawson Tait,
No. 5. From De Graaf.
" To stop the cries of the animals without hindering respiration, the
windpipe is first dissected out and then a hole made into it. It is then
raised up and a large nail is passed in across it behind, so as to prevent
the blood from running into the respiratory tract." " Many other phys-
iologists have tried, like De Graaf, to stifle the cries of the animals in
order to avoid the complaints of persons living in the neighborhood of
laboratories. Dupuytren used to cut the recurrent laryngeal nerves so
as to render the animal dumb, and I have often done the same operation
for the same purpose, only that I operated by the subcutaneous method
by a process I shall describe elsewhere." — La Physiologie Operatoire.
"Vivisection is, to my mind, a desecration of the highest objects to
which the scientific mind can aspire, to the lowest and most barren
modes of inquiry." — George Macilwain, f.r.C.s.
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" Of all those experiments none are entered into at greater length, or
so much excite a thrill of horror within us, as those under the head of
' Catheterism of the blood vessels,' which show how long flexible tubes
are inserted at some convenient part of a superficial blood vessel, and
then pushed along into the different parts of the heart and deeper blood
vessels. Blood may thus be obtained from a given part for analysis; or
the temperature may be ascertained in such otherwise inaccessible re-
gions. In these experiments there is no pretense of giving anaesthetics;
and as a matter of fact as well as logic none are given, for they would
greatly interfere with the results when a careful analysis is to be made
of the blood so obtained from special regions, or when it is a question
of the temperature which normally exists there."
"Whether vivisection is conducive to science, or the reverse, there is
one great preliminary consideration : on what authority of Scripture, or
any other form of revelation, do they (the vivisectors) rest their right to
subject God's creatures to such unspeakable sufferiugs? "—Speech of
"Simultaneous eatheterism of the great arteries and veins (vence cavce and aorta) fron the
right femoral artery and vein by means of sounds containing long thermo-electric needles. —
General conditions of the experiment: On the left of the animal, fixed in the trough, are
represented the electric commutator and the galvanometer, the deviation in which indicates
the difference of temperature of the surrounding fluids (arterial and venous blood) iu which the
tnermo-electric sounds are placed.
" To the above description we may add that the jugular vein in the neck
of the bound-down and muzzled animal has first to be carefully dissected
out and opened into, and, through the opening thus made, the bent tube
or catheter has been inserted and pushed down through the heart into
the great vein which brings the blood from the liver and hinder part of
" It may be supposed that such elaborate apparatus and continually re-
peated vivisection have completely settled the question as to whether
the arterial blood or the venous blood was hottest, if indeed the question
was worth settling. That this is far from being the case we have the
evidence of Bernard before us at page 402, where he says : ' The ques-
tion of the localization of the source of animal heat ought to be settled
by the simple experiment of testing whether arterial or venous blood is
hottest. "Well, nothing is more difficult to settle than this question.
After more than half a century of experiments physiologists have been
unable to come to any agreement upon it. Some have declared that
arterial blood was hotter than venous blood. Others, on the contrary
(and I am one of these), have found venous blood to be hotter than arte-
rial blood ; while a third category of experimenters, who do not believe
in the fixity of the phenomena which have their seats in the animal
economy, declare that sometimes the arterial blood is hottest and some-
times the venous blood.'
"The illustrations on pages 15 and 16, among many others, sufficiently
show the horrible conditions in which the poor animals are placed when
subjected to such experiments, and, instead of repeating all the steps
to be taken and the precautions necessary, it may prove quite sufficient
to reproduce a literal translation of the descriptive text accompanying
each of the woodcuts."
From La Physiologie Operatoire. — Claude Bernard.
" It is very certain that the status of the profession may be lowered by
being associated in the public mind with vivisection. There are already
signs of this, and many medical men would rejoice to see their profes-
sion delivered from the opprobrium that has come upon it in con-
sequence of this practice." — James Macauley, m.d., f.r.c.s., Edin-
" Let us come," says Paul Bert in his large book on La Pression Baro-
metrique, p. 800, " to the description of the convulsive attack (produced
by placing the victim for hours under compressed oxygen). It is really
curious and frightful, [effrayante.)
" Let us take a case of medium intensity. When the animal is taken
out of the machine it is generally in full tonic convulsions. The four
paws are stiffened, the trunk is recurved backward, the eyes are starting
from the head, the jaws clinched. Soon there is a sort of loosening to
which succeeds a new crisis of stiffenings with clonic convulsions, re-
sembling at once a crisis of strychnine poisoning, and an attack of teta-
nus. . . Sensibility is preserved.
" In lighter cases, instead of attacks so violent as this, one may lift the
animal by one paw like a piece of wood, as figure 61 shows. We ob-
serve disordered movements and local convulsions," etc.
"Finally, as regards anaesthetics, it is needful that the reader should
dispel from his mind all illusion on the subject. No defence of Vivi-
section is so frequently offered and so generally accepted as the assertion
that, in the vast majority of experiments, the animals are rendered
wholly insensible to pain by means of anaesthetics. Persons who shrink
from the miserable subject naturally seize on this assurance with relief,
and thenceforth turn a deaf ear to the advocates of the suppression of
the practice. What is the truth of the case?
" There are to be considered : 1st. Real anaesthetics (chloroform, ether,
nitrous oxide, etc.). 2d. Narcotics (opium, chloral, etc.). od. Mock
anaesthetics (Curare). * *
" Of the third alternative, the Mock Anaesthetic, Curare. Here
again Dr. Hoggan bears testimony : —
" If there be anything reliable in the results obtained by experimental physi-
ology, it is the ingeniously ascertained effects of Curare. Could these now be
disproved, it would establish the truth of the sneer so often heard, ' that Vivi-
section only requires to prove a thing, in order that fresh hecatombs of animals
be tortured to disprove it.'
" Claude Bernard, the greatest authority upon, as he is the greatest discoverer
of, the effects of Curare, says of it in Revue Scientifique for 1871-2, p. 892 :
' Curare acting on the nervous system only suppresses the action of the motor
nerves, leaving sensation intact. Curare is not an anaesthetic.' Vol. vi, p. 591 :
' Curare renders all movement impossible, but it does not hinder the animal
from suffering and from being conscious of pain.' These opinions of his are
to be found repeated twenty times in the same work, in which he also mentions
that they were proved on a human patient, operated upon under the influence
of Curare, who was quite sensible throughout, and suffering frightful pain. Even
in his latest remarks on the same subject (vol. 1874-75, p. 1117) he refers to
experiments where the patients on their recovery had been able to relate ' that
during paralysis they had been fully aware of their existence, and of all that
happened around them.' Vulpian also, the next best authority, says in the
latest work : 'Legons sur Vappareil locomoteur,' Paris, 1875, p. 660: 'Curare
does not act on the sensory nerves, or, at least, does not abolish their func-
" Again, Claude Bernard, in his classic paper ' On Curare,' in the
Revue de Deux Mondes for September, 1861, after quoting the opinion of
travelers, and more especially of Waterton, says (p. 173) : —
" Thus all their descriptions offer us a pleasant and tranquil picture of death
by Curare. A gentle sleep seems to occupy the transition from life to death.
But it is nothing of the sort ; the external appearances are deceitful. In this
paper it will be our duty to point out how much we may be in error relative to
the interpretation of natural phenomena where science has not taught us the
cause and unveiled the mechanism. If, in fact, we pursue the essential part of
our subject by means of experiments into the organic analysis of vital extinc-
tion, we discover that this death, which appears to steal on in so gentle a man-
ner and so exempt from pain, is, on the contrary, accompanied by the most
atrocious sufferings that the imagination of man can conceive (and ante, p. 162).
In this motionless body, behind that glazing eye, and with all the appearance
of death, sensitiveness and intelligence persist in their entirety. The corpse
before us hears and distinguishes all that is done around it. It suffers when
pinched or irritated ; in a word, it has still consciousness and volition, but it
has lost the instruments which serve to manifest them."
" We next reach one of the many instruments in use (this is Schwann's)
for sustaining Artificial Respiration. It is to be understood that when
an animahis curarized the muscles are so completely paralyzed that it
ceases to breathe, and would immediately die were not artificial breath-
ing kept up by pumping air into the lungs. This is sometimes done by
hand, but in large laboratories it is customary to keep a water-engine or
steam-engine at work for the purpose. In Ludwig's laboratory it has
been stated that the engine in question never ceases playing day or
night, sustaining life in the dogs and other animals extended on the
vivisecting tables around."
Instrument for producing artificial respiration. — From'Bernard's Physiologie Operatoire.
DOES VIVISECTION PAY?
ALBERT LEFFINGWELL, M.D.
Not long ago, in a certain medical college in the State of New York,
I saw what Doctor Sharpey, for thirty years the professor of physiology
in the University Medical College, London, once characterized by anti-
thesis as " Magendie's in-famous experiment," it having been first per-
formed by that eminent physiologist. It was designed to prove that the
stomach, although supplied with muscular coats, is, during the act of
vomiting, for the most part passive. * * Long before the con-
clusion of the experiment the animal became conscious, and its cries of
suffering were exceedingly painful to hear. Now, granting that this
experiment impressed an abstract scientific fact upon the memories of
all who saw it, nevertheless it remains significantly true that the fact
thus demonstrated had no conceivable relation to the treatment of dis-
ease. It is not to-day regarded as conclusive of the theory which, after
nearly two hundred repetitions of his experiment, was doubtless con-
sidered by Magendie as established beyond question. Doctor Sharpey,
a strong advocate of vivisection, by the way, condemned it as a per-
fectly unjustifiable experiment, since, "besides its atrocity, it was
really purposeless." Was this repetition of the experiment which I
have described worth its cost ? Was the gain worth the pain ? * *
Every medical student in New York knows that experiments
involving pain are repeatedly performed to illustrate teaching. It is no
secret; one need not go beyond the frank admissions of our later text-
books on physiology for abundant proof, not only of this, but of the
extent to which experimentation is now carried in this country. "We
have long been in the habit, in class demonstrations, of removing the
optic lobe on one side from a pigeon," says Professor Flint, of Believue
Hospital Medical College, in his excellent work on Physiology.* " The
experiment of dividing the sympathetic in the neck, especially in rab-
bits, is so easily performed that the phenomena observed by Bernard
and Brown-Sequard have been repeatedly verified. We have often done
this in class demonstrations.'" t " The cerebral lobes were removed from
a young pigeon in the usual way, an operation * * which we practice
yearly as a class demonstration.'''' X Claude Bernard was the first to suc-
ceed in following the spinal accessory nerve back to the jugular fora-
men, seizing it here with a strong pair of forceps, and drawing it out by
the roots. This experiment is practiced in our own country. " We have
found this result (loss of voice) to follow in the cat after the spinal ac-
cessory nerves have been torn out by the roots," says Professor John C.
Dal ton, in his treatise on Human Physiology. § "This operation is
difficult,'" writes Professor Flint, " but we have several times performed
it with entire success ; " || and his assistant at Believue Medical College
has succeeded " in extirpating these nerves for class demonstrations."
*A Text-book of Human Physiology, designed for the use of Practitioners and Students of
Medicine, by Austin Flint, Jr., m.d. D. Apnletou & Co. New York : 1876 (page 722).
fPage 738. % Page 585. § Page 489. || Page 629.
In withdrawal of blood from the hepatic veins of a dog, "avoiding the
administration of an anaesthetic " is one of the steps recommended.*
The curious experiment of Bernard, in which artificial diabetes is pro-
duced by irritating the floor of the fourth ventricle of the brain, is care-
fully described, and illustrations afforded both of the instrument and the
animal undergoing the operation.
There is one experiment in regard to which the severe characteriza-
tion of English scientists is especially applicable, from the pain neces-
sarily attending it. Numerous investigators have long established the
fact that the great sensory nerve of the head and face is endowed with
an exquisite degree of sensibility. More than half a century ago, both
Magendie and Sir Charles Bell pointed out that merely exposing and
touching this fifth nerve gave signs of most acute pain. "All who have
divided this root in living animals must have recognized, not only that
it is sensitive, but that its sensibility is far more acute than that of any
other nervous trunk in the body.t "The fifth pair," says Professor
John C. Dalton, "is the most acutely sensitive nerve in the whole
body. Its irritation by mechanical means always causes intense pain.
and even though the animal be nearly unconscious from the influence of
ether, any severe injury to its large root is almost invariably followed
by cries." X Testimony on this point is uniform and abundant. If
science speaks anywhere with assurance, it is in regard to the properties
of this nerve. Yet every year the experiment is repeated before medi-
cal classes, simply to demonstrate accepted facts. "This is an opera-
tion," says Professor Flint, referring to the division of this nerve, " that
we have frequently performed with success." He adds that "it is diffi-
cult from the fact that one is working in the dark, and it requires a certain
amount of dexterity, to be acquired only by practice.'''' * * This is one
of Magendie's celebrated experiments; perhaps the reader fancies that
in its modern repetitions the animal suffers nothing, being rendered
insensible by anaesthetics? u It is much more satisfactory to divide the
nerve without etherizing the animal, as the evidence of pain is an important
guide in this delicate operation." Anaesthetics, however, are sometimes
used, but not so as wholly to overcome the pain.
Testimony of individuals, indicating the extent to which vivisection
is at present practiced in this State might be given ; but it seems better
to submit proof within the reach of every reader, and the accuracy of
which is beyond cavil. No legal restrictions whatever exist, preventing
the performance of any experiment desired. Indeed, I think it may
safely be asserted that, in the city of New York, in a single medical
school, more pain is inflicted upon living animals as a means of teaching
well-known facts, than is permitted to be done for the same purpose in
all the medical schools of Great Britian and Ireland. And cui bono?
"I can truly say," writes a physician who has seen all these experi-
ments, " that not only have I never seen any results at all commensurate
with the suffering inflicted, but I cannot recall a single experiment which,
in the slightest degree, has increased my ability to relieve pain, or in
any way fitted me to cope better with disease."
— Scribner^s Magazine, Jidy, 1880.
*Flint : " Text-book of Human Physiology" (page 463).
tPage 641. I Dalton's " Human Physiology," (page 466).
DUKE MEDj CENTER LIS.